Biloxi Council Shoots Down Request to Turn Apartments into Condo

The Biloxi City Council said no to a request to turn an apartment complex into condo units. The owners of Royal Gulf Apartments asked the council for permission to convert the 144 apartment unit into condos and put them up for sale.

Although the measure failed by just one vote, it drew some strong criticism. Before the city voted on whether to allow the conversion of Royal Gulf Apartments into a Condominium Complex, a resident who lives at Royal Gulf, urged the council not to vote in favor of the conversion.

"Although I don't object to anybody wanting to convert their apartment complex into a condo, I think at the present time, with the current lack of affordable housing, this is not the way to attract investors from out-of-town as they are not owners," resident Peter Kandrat said.

Kandrat lost his Water's Edge Apartment and all of his possessions to Katrina. He says he's already lost one home. He doesn't want to lose another. But this wasn't his only concern.

"We have a potential of 10,000 employees when casinos open by the end of the year, with none of them, most of them not having a place to live."

Before the vote, councilman Bill Stallworth also took time out to voice his opinion on the matter.

"If we continue this type of conversion, we won't have any place for people to live."

The council ended up deciding, in a close vote, to deny the Royal Gulf's owners conversion request.

Three councilmen voted to approve the request for the conversion. Four councilmen voted to deny it.

By Toni Miles